Family volence – through the lens of reflective practice


  • Amitha Krishnamurthi



Family Violence, Reflective practice, Meaningful engagement, Power and Control


By applying my cultural sense of self and incorporating a case study, this reflective work examines family violence and the compulsive and seductive aspects of so-called “victim blaming” which, I contend, operate as a defence against institutional anxieties experienced and borne by individual practitioners. In this reflective piece I consider family violence, and aspects of domination described above from my lived experience as an indigenous woman, and as a migrant from the Global South. I also incorporate a social work case study from an Aotearoa New Zealand context to further explore cultural aspects of family violence or domination.

Author Biography

Amitha Krishnamurthi

Amitha is a Resettlement Case Advisor at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, Auckland and works with the quota refugee population. Previously, she has worked with Oranga Tamariki, taught Social Work at Manukau Institute of Technology, and worked overseas in the field of adoption, community development and tsunami rehabilitation. She has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania


Adams, P. (2012). Masculine empire: How men use violence to keep women in line. Auckland, New Zealand: Dunmore Publishing.

Adams, R., Dominelli, L., & Payne, M (2009). Social work: Themes, issues and critical debates (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Butalia, U. (1997). The Women’s movement in India: Action and reflection. Communique, 42–43 (July-August). Retrieved from

Das, V. (2006). Sexual violence, discursive formations, and the state. In F. Coronil & J. Skurski (Eds.), States of violence (pp. 393–425). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Domestic Violence Act (1995). Retrieved from

Einstein, A. (2016). Albert Einstein quotes. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Retrieved from

Fook, J. (2002). Social work: Critical theory and practice. London, UK: Sage Publications.

Gambrill, E. (2012). Social work practice: A critical thinker’s guide (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall.

Lazaridis, G., Campani, G., & Benveniste, A. (2016). The rise of the far right in Europe: Populist shifts and “othering”. London, UK: Springer Nature.

New Zealand Family Violence Clearing House. (2017). Data summaries. Retrieved from

Ray, B. (Ed). (2005). Women of India: Colonial and post-colonial periods. New Delhi, India: Paula Press.

Pence, E., & Paymar, M. (1993). Education groups for men who batter: The Duluth model. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Ross, E. A. (2017). Social control: A survey of the foundations of order. London UK: Routledge.

Vega, S. (1986). Luka [Recorded by A&M]. On Solitude Standing. New York: Bearsville Studios.

West, L., (2010). Really reflexive practice. In H. Bradbury, N. Frost, S. Kilminster, & M. Zukas (Eds.), Beyond reflective practice: New approaches to professional lifelong learning (pp. 66–80). New York, NY: Routledge.




How to Cite

Krishnamurthi, A. (2018). Family volence – through the lens of reflective practice. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 30(3), 84–89.